What Is A Cookie?

Learn About Web Cookies and How They Work. Not The Tasty Treat.

In todays post we’re talking about website cookies and not the yummy treat. A cookie is a small file sent to an internet user’s computer by a website. These small files allow the site’s tracking programs to identify that computer. The main use for cookies is to provide customized web pages according to a profile of the user’s interests. This is evident when you access a page and it appears to “know” you and provide what you want.

What Information Does Website Cookies Store?

Website cookies can store a variety of information to make your online experience more enjoyable. If you have ever saved something to a website shopping cart, left the website, then come back a few days later to still see that item in the shopping cart. That was capable because of cookies.

Cookies can also help a website remember your logged in state. So that you stay logged into a website without having to login each time you close and reopen the site.

Cookies can also store information on what websites you have visited. This can allow developers to target you with specialized coupons, offers, or ads.

What Are the Different Types of Web Cookies?

The basic concept of how a cookie works is the same across all web cookies. But there are two different kinds of cookies.

One type of cookie is sometimes referred to as “Magic Cookies.” Magic cookies are packets of information that are sent and received without changes.

The other type of cookie is “HTTP cookie.” These are the ones you most commonly experience when browsing websites. They are built specifically for Internet web browsers to track, personalize, and save information about each user’s session.

Are Web Cookies Safe?

Cookies in themself aren’t harmful and allow for the modern rich web experience we have gotten accustomed to. But Cookies can be abused and has privacy concerns. As it can show malicious actors your browsing information and what websites you have visited.